Category: city administration

On the Frontlines: Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet Talks COVID-19 Response and Building Community

Mayor Penny Sweet never expected that in her first year as mayor of Kirkland, Washington she would be leading her community through a global pandemic. The former health administrator and small business owner has lived in Kirkland, a first-tier suburb on the outskirts of Seattle, since 1985. The first novel coronavirus case in the United

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What’s the Difference Between Shelter in Place, Safer at Home, and Stay Home Orders?

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, local governments are not only forced to provide essential services under dangerous circumstances, they are also responsible for clearly communicating emergency procedures to the public. This often requires taking terms used by emergency personnel and translating them for a much broader audience. The task of taking technical information

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Moving City Council Meetings Online in Response to COVID-19

In response to growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in states and communities across the country, municipal governments are being forced to either close their meetings to the public or operate meetings entirely remotely. However, most communities are subject to sunshine laws, accessibility laws, or concerns about public engagement. How are local governments responding to this

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Second Circuit Rules against Cities and States in Sanctuary Jurisdictions Case

In 2006, Congress created the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne JAG) to provide “flexible” funds for state and local law enforcement programs. Last week, the Second Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to rule in favor of the Attorney General’s decision to add conditions to receiving federal Byrne JAG grants. In

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Managing Through the Coronavirus: What Local Leaders Need to Know

As more cases of COVID-19, the Coronavirus, are identified in the United States, local leaders must answer the question about their own role in responding to the outbreak. The good news is that cities, towns and villages have longstanding emergency protocols for public health emergencies such as this and now is the time to show leadership. Here are three things

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Local Governments Respond to Car Impounding SCOTUS Case

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) has filed an amicus brief in City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton, an important case for local governments. The City of Chicago impounds vehicles when debtors have three or more unpaid fines. When Robbin Fulton’s vehicle was impounded for this reason, she filed for bankruptcy and asked the

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Robocall Case Has Important Implications for Local Governments

What does Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants have to do with state and local governments? The question the Supreme Court will decide in this case is whether allowing robocalls for government-debt only violates the First Amendment. State and local governments aren’t likely recipients of such calls. In one word the answer is Reed; as in Reed v. Town

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Supreme Court to Decide Bankruptcy Case Affecting Local Governments

The city of Chicago impounds vehicles where debtors have three or more unpaid fines. Robbin Fulton’s vehicle was impounded, and when she filed for bankruptcy and asked the city to turn over her vehicle, it refused. And so, the question the Supreme Court will decide in City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton is whether a local government

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Three Strategies to Restore City Rights in an Era of Preemption

From negatively impacting zoning and tax laws, to making it impossible for local governments to raise the minimum wage or mandate sick leave, state interference — or preemption — can have dire consequences for our communities. The evolution of preemption—from a pragmatic tool to resolve conflicts in law to a weapon used to limit local

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